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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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C£ opposition to their work In the liberated territories was confined to
terrorists/' an announcement which gave them the excuse for unbridled
persecutions.
One of the first movements of the e Committee * was to disband the
police and set up a militia under the auspices of the X.K.V.D. In Lublin
a special Commission., comprising officials from the * Committee ' and
officials from the N.K.V.D., was established to investigate all anti-Soviet
activities up to 1939 and afterwards. To have been a member of the
Home Army, not only under the Soviet occupation in 1939-1941. but
also under German occupation., was considered sufficient proof of this
guilt.
One of the first activities of the Committee was the erection in Lublin
of a monument to an c unknown soldier of the Red Army ' which was
unveiled on August 28, even while the troops of the Polish Home Army
were being disarmed and imprisoned in the renowned Majdanek camp.
Since the Germans had already destroyed e\ery monument throughout
the country, including that of the unknown soldier in Warsaw, this edifice
to a Russian soldier (c liberator' according to Moscow, c oppressor 5
according to the Polish people) was the only monument in Poland. There
was no parallel instance where a statue to an unknown British or American
soldier had been erected in France., Belgium or Holland while a war was
being fought.
" We are witnessing the death of a city harbouring over a million people,
the destruction of a population, whose only sin is the will for freedom and
loyalty to the Allies . . . We are witnessing the infliction of such monstrous
•wrongs that, in face of them, all ideology, all alleged causes and aims of
this war, all that makes life worth living, becomes meaningless, while all
programmes, treaties, pledges and assurances become a mockery.
" In the name of thousands of Polish airmen who gave their lives in the
defence of this island during the Battle of Britain, in the name of Polish
sailors who perished in the Arctic seas escorting Allied convoys to Murmansk
and Archangel, in the name of Polish soldiers whose graves are scattered
at Narvik and Tobruk, at Gazala and A-lonte Cassino, at Ancona and Falaise,
we ask you to help . . .
*e . . . We need your voice, we need your pen and your courage at a time
when courage is needed to call for help for a perishing ally, when courage is
needed to demand that wrongs should be redressed,"
wrote the Polish writers in an appeal^to their American and British
colleagues.
By the first days of September, the situation in Warsaw had grown
serious. The Germans had pressed forward and part of the ground,
known as the Old Town, had to be abandoned. General B6r reported
that losses among the defenders of this district amounted to eighty per
cent, in one month of fighting. The 1,300 soldiers still living were
evacuated. The German force employed to conquer the Old Town
comprised ten battalions of infantry, two battalions of pioneers with full
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